Misconceptions are being spread about CPEC’s transparency: Asad Umar

Federal Minister for Planning, Development, and Initial Initiatives Asad Umar. Geo News screengrab   

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Planning, Development, and Initial Initiatives Asad Umar said that wrong opinions are being shared regarding the transparency of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects, Geo News reported Wednesday.

“Misconceptions are being spread regarding the transparency of CPEC projects, debt sustainability, and secret loans,” said Umar while addressing a press conference along with Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on CPEC Khalid Mansoor.

The federal minister said that the “world’s eyes are fixed on the CPEC, while the enemy wants to harm Pakistan”. 

In response to a recent report by a US-based think tank, Umar said that China has facilitated some CPEC projects by handing out loans to Pakistan “in terms of grant”.

However, he clarified that the loans were granted on less markup compared to the loans borrowed from other countries.

The federal minister said that 74% of external loans have been taken from international financial institutions.

Denying all rumours regarding expensive loans from China, the minister highlighted that power projects under the CPEC have an average of 4% interest rate, while the cumulative rate of interest on other Chinese loans is 4.25%.

Umar mentioned that the government had shared all the details of the loans related to CPEC with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The federal minister said that wrong information leads to misunderstanding, adding “the reason for the increase in the current account deficit is not Chinese loans as China had provided various grants for different CPEC projects,” he said.

Umar maintained that foreign media is spreading “incorrect information regarding CPEC” and urged the local media to question foreign reports instead of relaying information released by them “without due verification and understanding.”

“The IMF is a part of the programme and all details regarding the projects under CPEC have been shared in the Parliament as well,” he said.

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